Blue Ridge Parkway
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Cultural Heritage

Cultural Heritage at Doughton ParkThe Blue Ridge Parkway is a ribbon of road that weaves through the region’s vibrant living traditions. From Cherokee life and agricultural history to Southern Appalachian crafts and music, the Parkway’s 469 miles through Virginia and North Carolina offers many ways to explore rich traditions. 

The Parkway represents a “slice” of America, and each historic site or cabin is a snapshot of one time and one place. Cultural sites here represent about one hundred years – the early decades of the nineteenth century to the early decades of the twentieth century. Those who planned the Parkway and its scenic views thought that the most picturesque and quaint remnants of the past were the log cabins.

In a few places, the early designers removed larger houses and replaced them with smaller rough hewn cabins, complete with reflecting ponds. Although cabins were certainly here in the early days of mountain settlement, many were covered with siding and whitewashed before too many years.

It is also important to remember that there were more homes here in the past than we see today. At places like Rockcastle Gorge, Basin Cove, and the Peaks of Otter, communities of dozens of families lived and worked. Some lived in log houses, others in framed farm houses. In some cases, natural disasters such as the 1916 flood or the Chestnut blight devastated entire mountain communities.

As you visit the Parkway, the historic sites that capture your attention reveal many broad themes of Blue Ridge history. We hope you find stories that challenge you to think about the unique Appalachian culture, defined by arts, crafts, and music that persists in the region. The Cherokee culture that has populated the region and defined much of Appalachian history for thousands of years is preserved on the southern end of the Parkway and reflected in place names throughout the region.

According to some scholars, the herbal lore, basketry, and even some forms of dancing, so much a part of “traditional” Appalachian culture, have roots in the exchange of culture when Europeans and Native Americans met on the Appalachian frontier.

Perhaps the most important piece of advice is to slow down, listen, and take all of the stories you hear as part of the bigger Blue Ridge story. Together, these are stories that tell us of the richness and wealth of this ancient slice of America.

Visit the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area for more information about the region's rich cultural heritage.

Cherokee Cultural Heritage

Members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians honor and cultivate traditions which have guided and supported their culture for a thousand years. Balancing the modern world with these ancient traditions, the Cherokee welcome millions of visitors each year while stewarding the delicate mountain landscape that is their ancestral home

Music Heritage

Live concerts, festivals and cultural events celebrate the region’s rich musical heritage throughout the year. The Blue Ridge Music Center at Milepost 213 features instrument making, song writing history and concerts that showcase the region’s music traditions such as old-time, bluegrass, ballad singing, blues and sacred music.

Crafts Heritage

Communities along the Parkway’s 469 miles keep living craft traditions alive through a variety of galleries, shops, and events. The Folk Art Center at Milepost 382 is home of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, featuring regional crafts, live demonstrations, and special events.

Agricultural Heritage

For thousands of years, Native Americans cultivated the fertile valleys along the Parkway. European immigrants brought agricultural practices with them as they settled in the mountains, but soon adopted and refined many Cherokee crops and techniques. This blending of immigrant agricultural practices with Native American traditions created a distinctive agricultural heritage. Farmers’ markets, restaurants featuring locally grown food and cultural tours along the Parkway highlight the region’s agricultural heritage.  

Natural Heritage

 Along the Blue Ridge Parkway, you will find:

  • Some of the oldest mountains in the world
  • The highest mountain peak in the eastern United States (Mount Mitchell)
  • The oldest river in North America (New River)
  • The deepest gorge east of the Grand Canyon (Linville Gorge)
  • The highest waterfall east of the Rockies (Whitewater Falls)
  • Abundant biodiversity

Calendar

<< August 2015 >>
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2

Pet-Friendly Orienteering Treasure Hunt

Sunday, August 2, 2015, 10:00 am

Upstairs Tours at Cone Manor

Sunday, August 2, 2015, 10:00 am

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Sunday, August 2, 2015, 10:00 am

Mid-Day Mountain Music

Sunday, August 2, 2015, 12:00 pm

First Sunday Jazz Series

Sunday, August 2, 2015, 1:00 pm

First Sunday Jazz Series

Sunday, August 2, 2015, 1:00 pm

"Gypsy"

Sunday, August 2, 2015, 2:00 pm

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, August 2, 2015, 2:00 pm

Dinosaur Train™

Sunday, August 2, 2015, 3:00 pm
3

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Monday, August 3, 2015, 10:00 am

Mid-Day Mountain Music

Monday, August 3, 2015, 12:00 pm

"Gypsy"

Monday, August 3, 2015, 2:00 pm
4

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Tuesday, August 4, 2015, 10:00 am

Mid-Day Mountain Music

Tuesday, August 4, 2015, 12:00 pm

"Gypsy"

Tuesday, August 4, 2015, 2:00 pm
5

Upstairs Tours at Cone Manor

Wednesday, August 5, 2015, 10:00 am

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Wednesday, August 5, 2015, 10:00 am

Junior Forester Program

Wednesday, August 5, 2015, 10:30 am

Mid-Day Mountain Music

Wednesday, August 5, 2015, 12:00 pm

"Gypsy"

Wednesday, August 5, 2015, 2:00 pm
6

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Thursday, August 6, 2015, 10:00 am

Mid-Day Mountain Music

Thursday, August 6, 2015, 12:00 pm

"Gypsy"

Thursday, August 6, 2015, 2:00 pm

Marion Mountain Music

Thursday, August 6, 2015, 7:00 pm
7

Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair

Friday, August 7, 2015, 9:00 am

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Friday, August 7, 2015, 10:00 am

Mid-Day Mountain Music

Friday, August 7, 2015, 12:00 pm

"Gypsy"

Friday, August 7, 2015, 2:00 pm

Woody's Original Mountain Music

Friday, August 7, 2015, 7:00 pm
8

NatureFest

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Music in the Mountains Concert Series

Saturday, June 6, 2015, 6:30 pm

Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair

Saturday, August 8, 2015, 9:00 am

Wood Day at the Folk Art Center

Saturday, August 8, 2015, 10:00 am

Upstairs Tour of Cone Manor

Saturday, August 8, 2015, 10:00 am

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Saturday, August 8, 2015, 10:00 am

Mid-Day Mountain Music

Saturday, August 8, 2015, 12:00 pm

The Black Dog Music and BBQ Festival

Saturday, August 8, 2015, 12:00 pm

"Gypsy"

Saturday, August 8, 2015, 2:00 pm

Tracks Music & Dance

Saturday, August 8, 2015, 7:00 pm

The Lives of the Stars

Saturday, August 8, 2015, 8:00 pm

Saturday Night Square Dances

Saturday, August 8, 2015, 8:00 pm

New Horizons to Pluto

Saturday, August 8, 2015, 9:00 pm
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9

Upstairs Tours at Cone Manor

Sunday, August 9, 2015, 10:00 am

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Sunday, August 9, 2015, 10:00 am

Mid-Day Mountain Music

Sunday, August 9, 2015, 12:00 pm

Beer and Brats

Sunday, August 9, 2015, 12:00 pm

"Gypsy"

Sunday, August 9, 2015, 2:00 pm

Group Painting

Sunday, August 9, 2015, 2:00 pm

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, August 9, 2015, 2:00 pm
10

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Monday, August 10, 2015, 10:00 am

Mid-Day Mountain Music

Monday, August 10, 2015, 12:00 pm

"Gypsy"

Monday, August 10, 2015, 2:00 pm
11

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Tuesday, August 11, 2015, 10:00 am

Mid-Day Mountain Music

Tuesday, August 11, 2015, 12:00 pm

"Gypsy"

Tuesday, August 11, 2015, 2:00 pm

Monthly Old Time Music Jam

Tuesday, August 11, 2015, 6:00 pm
12

Upstairs Tours at Cone Manor

Wednesday, August 12, 2015, 10:00 am

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Wednesday, August 12, 2015, 10:00 am

Mid-Day Mountain Music

Wednesday, August 12, 2015, 12:00 pm

"Gypsy"

Wednesday, August 12, 2015, 2:00 pm
13

70th Semi-Annual Gettysburg Fall Bluegrass Festival

Thursday, August 13, 2015, 6:00 pm

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Thursday, August 13, 2015, 10:00 am

Mid-Day Mountain Music

Thursday, August 13, 2015, 12:00 pm

"Gypsy"

Thursday, August 13, 2015, 2:00 pm

Marion Mountain Music

Thursday, August 13, 2015, 7:00 pm
14

70th Semi-Annual Gettysburg Fall Bluegrass Festival

Friday, August 14, 2015, 6:00 pm

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Friday, August 14, 2015, 10:00 am

Mid-Day Mountain Music

Friday, August 14, 2015, 12:00 pm

"Gypsy"

Friday, August 14, 2015, 2:00 pm

Woody's Original Mountain Music

Friday, August 14, 2015, 7:00 pm
15

Grandfather Mountain Camera Clinic

Saturday, August 15, 2015, 6:00 pm

70th Semi-Annual Gettysburg Fall Bluegrass Festival

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Music in the Mountains Concert Series

Saturday, June 6, 2015, 6:30 pm

Upstairs Tour of Cone Manor

Saturday, August 15, 2015, 10:00 am

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Saturday, August 15, 2015, 10:00 am

Mid-Day Mountain Music

Saturday, August 15, 2015, 12:00 pm

"Gypsy"

Saturday, August 15, 2015, 2:00 pm

Classic Car Cruise-In

Saturday, August 15, 2015, 3:00 pm

Blue Ridge Music Center Presents Spencer Branch with Mickey Galyean & Cullen's Bridge

Saturday, August 15, 2015, 7:00 pm

Twilight Hike @ Peaks of Otter

Saturday, August 15, 2015, 7:00 pm

Tracks Music & Dance

Saturday, August 15, 2015, 7:00 pm

Saturday Night Square Dances

Saturday, August 15, 2015, 8:00 pm
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16

Grandfather Mountain Camera Clinic

Sunday, August 16, 2015, 6:00 pm

70th Semi-Annual Gettysburg Fall Bluegrass Festival

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Orienteering Treasure Hunt

Sunday, August 16, 2015, 10:00 am

Upstairs Tours at Cone Manor

Sunday, August 16, 2015, 10:00 am

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Sunday, August 16, 2015, 10:00 am

Mid-Day Mountain Music

Sunday, August 16, 2015, 12:00 pm

"Gypsy"

Sunday, August 16, 2015, 2:00 pm

Mountain Music Series

Sunday, August 16, 2015, 2:00 pm

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, August 16, 2015, 2:00 pm
17

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Monday, August 17, 2015, 10:00 am

Mid-Day Mountain Music

Monday, August 17, 2015, 12:00 pm
18

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Tuesday, August 18, 2015, 10:00 am

Mid-Day Mountain Music

Tuesday, August 18, 2015, 12:00 pm

93rd Annual South Mountain Fair

Tuesday, August 18, 2015, 4:00 pm
19

Upstairs Tours at Cone Manor

Wednesday, August 19, 2015, 10:00 am

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Wednesday, August 19, 2015, 10:00 am

Mid-Day Mountain Music

Wednesday, August 19, 2015, 12:00 pm

93rd Annual South Mountain Fair

Wednesday, August 19, 2015, 4:00 pm
20

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Thursday, August 20, 2015, 10:00 am

Mid-Day Mountain Music

Thursday, August 20, 2015, 12:00 pm

93rd Annual South Mountain Fair

Thursday, August 20, 2015, 4:00 pm

Marion Mountain Music

Thursday, August 20, 2015, 7:00 pm
21

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Friday, August 21, 2015, 10:00 am

Mid-Day Mountain Music

Friday, August 21, 2015, 12:00 pm

93rd Annual South Mountain Fair

Friday, August 21, 2015, 4:00 pm

Woody's Original Mountain Music

Friday, August 21, 2015, 7:00 pm
22

Music in the Mountains Concert Series

Saturday, August 22, 2015, 6:30 pm

Upstairs Tour of Cone Manor

Saturday, August 22, 2015, 10:00 am

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Saturday, August 22, 2015, 10:00 am

6th Annual Roanoke Wing Fest

Saturday, August 22, 2015, 11:00 am

Mid-Day Mountain Music

Saturday, August 22, 2015, 12:00 pm

2nd Gettysburg Brew Fest

Saturday, August 22, 2015, 4:00 pm

93rd Annual South Mountain Fair

Saturday, August 22, 2015, 4:00 pm

Blue Ridge Music Center Presents Redhead Express with The Walker Boys

Saturday, August 22, 2015, 7:00 pm

Tracks Music & Dance

Saturday, August 22, 2015, 7:00 pm

Saturday Night Square Dances

Saturday, August 22, 2015, 8:00 pm
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23

Upstairs Tours at Cone Manor

Sunday, August 23, 2015, 10:00 am

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Sunday, August 23, 2015, 10:00 am

Mid-Day Mountain Music

Sunday, August 23, 2015, 12:00 pm

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, August 23, 2015, 2:00 pm
24

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Monday, August 24, 2015, 10:00 am

Mid-Day Mountain Music

Monday, August 24, 2015, 12:00 pm
25

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Tuesday, August 25, 2015, 10:00 am

Mid-Day Mountain Music

Tuesday, August 25, 2015, 12:00 pm
26

Upstairs Tours at Cone Manor

Wednesday, August 26, 2015, 10:00 am

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Wednesday, August 26, 2015, 10:00 am

Mid-Day Mountain Music

Wednesday, August 26, 2015, 12:00 pm
27

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Thursday, August 27, 2015, 10:00 am

Mid-Day Mountain Music

Thursday, August 27, 2015, 12:00 pm

Peak Perfection Vintner Dinner

Thursday, August 27, 2015, 6:00 pm

Marion Mountain Music

Thursday, August 27, 2015, 7:00 pm
28

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Friday, August 28, 2015, 10:00 am

Mid-Day Mountain Music

Friday, August 28, 2015, 12:00 pm

Woody's Original Mountain Music

Friday, August 28, 2015, 7:00 pm
29

Music in the Mountains Concert Series

Saturday, August 29, 2015, 6:30 pm

Upstairs Tour of Cone Manor

Saturday, August 29, 2015, 10:00 am

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Saturday, August 29, 2015, 10:00 am

Mid-Day Mountain Music

Saturday, August 29, 2015, 12:00 pm

The Blue Ridge Music Center Presents Steep Canyon Rangers with Mountain Park Old Time Band

Saturday, August 29, 2015, 7:00 pm

Tracks Music & Dance

Saturday, August 29, 2015, 7:00 pm

Saturday Night Square Dances

Saturday, August 29, 2015, 8:00 pm
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30

Upstairs Tours at Cone Manor

Sunday, August 30, 2015, 10:00 am

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Sunday, August 30, 2015, 10:00 am

Mid-Day Mountain Music

Sunday, August 30, 2015, 12:00 pm

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, August 30, 2015, 2:00 pm
31

Live Glassblowing Demonstrations

Monday, August 31, 2015, 10:00 am

Mid-Day Mountain Music

Monday, August 31, 2015, 12:00 pm
         

Highlights & Happenings

  • Folk Art Center, Milepost 382
  • Open year round, the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway showcases the finest in traditional and contemporary craft of the Southern Appalachians.
  • James River & Otter Creek, MP 60-63.8
  • At the lowest elevation along the Parkway, visitors can hike, camp, fish, have a picnic, and see restored Battery Creek Lock from the Kanawha Canal.
  • Waterrock Knob, MP 451.2
  • An ideal spot for watching sunrise and sunsets across the rugged mountains, Waterrock Knob Visitor Center sits at almost 6,000 feet elevation. Exhibits, book sales, and a trail leading to the summit of Waterrock Knob await visitors. The last hik
  • Craggy Gardens, MP 364
  • These high elevation summits are home to spectacular floral displays. June and July are usually prime times to view the pink and purple blooms of rhododendron, but don’t despair if you miss the peak bloom. Violets, blackberry, May-apple, a
  • Rocky Knob & Mabry Mill, MP 169, 176.2
  • These Parkway treasures offer many opportunities for visitors including hiking, camping, picnicking, and one of the most-photographed structures along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
  • Doughton Park, MP 240
  • Renew your senses amid this landscape of open meadows. Doughton Park is one of the best places along the Blue Ridge Parkway to view white-tailed deer, raccoons, red and grey foxes, and bobcats.  Flowers burst on the scene in late spring and crea
  • Mount Pisgah, MP 408
  • Mount Pisgah’s spectacular views, hiking trails, camping and the Mount Pisgah Inn make this area a popular destination for visitors along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The mountain and thousands of surrounding acres was originally purchased by indust
  • Civil War Sesquicentennial
  • 2015 marks the 150th year anniversary of when the last shot east of the Mississippi was fired during the Civil War, which rang out in present-day Waynesville.
  • Parkway Road Conditions
  • An open Parkway is a safe Parkway. Be sure to check road conditions online or by phone before you travel and during your visit.
  • Hiking Trails
  • A journey on the Blue Ridge Parkway offers motorists spectacular views of Southern Appalachia’s diverse beauty for 469.1 uninterrupted miles.
  • Blue Ridge Parkway Directory & Travel Planner
  • The 66th edition of the Blue Ridge Parkway Directory & Travel Planner is your ultimate source for planning a trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains.
  • Camping
  • Camping is one way visitors traveling through the Blue Ridge Parkway can spend the night under the stars in one of America’s most beautiful natural settings.
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